ALS patient walking, showing improvement after treatment - KMSP-TV

ALS patient walking, showing improvement after stem cell treatment

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (myFOXDetroit.com) -

Ted Harada, a father of three from Atlanta, is about to undergo a second risky and delicate surgery. He was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, in his late 30's. The disease kills nerve cells in your brain and spinal cord.

But thanks to a collaboration between the University of Michigan and Emory University in Atlanta, Harada has been receiving treatment. It's only a trial treatment, but it seems to be working.

Researchers came up with the idea to inject stem cells into the spinal cord. The cells should then surround the sick nerve cells, and nurse them back to health.

VIDEO: UofM researcher explains more about the procedure

Harada has noticed an improvement already. He's able to walk without his cane again.

"I understand it's a safety trial, but you still can't deny or ignore the results I've seen," Harada says.

Harada is one of 15 who took part in phase one, which started in 2010. He's showing the best results. Four patients altogether are showing some signs of improvement.

Doctors have gotten approval from the FDA to move on to the next phase. That's being done at the University of Michigan.

When it comes to stem cell research, there are a number of concerns - legal, ethical, and medical ones.

For more information, visit these links:

The truth about stem cell science (article from the University of Michigan)  

Michigan Stem Cell Amendment, Proposal 2
 

Stem cell research immoral, unnecessary (article from the Catholic Church) 

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